for the rest of us....
Today is the 2nd day of the 52nd week, the 23rd day of the 12th month, the 357th day of 2019, and:
ON THIS DAY IN ...
- Forefather's Day ((although some folks have this listed for the 22nd))
- HumanLight or Human Light Celebration Day - a secular holiday that focuses on the "positive, secular human values of reason, compassion, humanity and hope"
- Metric Conversion Day - In 1975 Congress passes Metric Conversion Act, but 44 years later, we are no closer to converting.
- National Pfeffernusse Day - tiny spice cookies, popular as a holiday treat in Germany, Denmark, and The Netherlands, as well as among ethnic Mennonites in North America
- National Roots Day – it’s all about your family history
1690 - English astronomer John Flamsteed observes Uranus without realizing it's undiscovered
1788 - Maryland votes to cede a 10 square mile area for District of Columbia
1823 - "Visit from St Nicholas" [AKA "'T’was the Night Before Christmas"] is a poem first published anonymously in Troy (NY) Sentinel and later attributed to Clement Clarke Moore, who claimed authorship in 1837
1888 - Vincent van Gogh cuts off his left ear with a razor, after argument with fellow painter Paul Gauguin, and sends to a prostitute for safe keeping
1907 - the first all-steel passenger railroad coach completed, Altoona, Pa
1919 - Alice H Parker patents gas heating furnace
1938 - Margaret Hamilton's costume catches fire in filming of "The Wizard of Oz"
1938 - Discovery of the first modern coelacanth in South Africa.
1947 - Transistor invented by John Bardeen, Walter H. Brattain and William Shockley in Bell Labs
1948 - "Cinderella" the first full-length ballet by Frederick Ashton with music by Sergei Prokofiev is first presented by Sadler's Wells Ballet at Covent Garden, London
1954 - The first human kidney transplant is performed by Dr. Joseph E. Murray at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts
1963 - Beach Boys first appearance on "Shindig"
1968 - the first documented US case of space motion sickness as Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and William Anders become the first men to orbit the Moon
1970 - USSR performs nuclear test
1983 - Journal Science publishes the first report on nuclear winter
1986 - Experimental airplane Voyager, piloted by Dick Rutan & Jeana Yeager, completed the first nonstop, round-the-world flight without refueling and lands
1997 - US Agriculture Department estimates it costs $149,820 to raise a child to 18
Festivus was a holiday featured in the Season 9 Seinfeld episode "The Strike", which first aired on December 18, 1997. How do you observe this holiday? Well first there is the Airing of the Grievances – you got a problem with someone? Now is the time to tell them off and make sure that they know how you feel. Then there are the Feats of Strength [your mileage may vary with this one, and you don’t really have to pin someone for the day to be over, fortunately]. Putting up the Festivus pole is easy, the Festivus dinner can be anything you put on the table, and the Festivus miracles [circumstances that have completely reasonable explanations, but are celebrated all the same] are easy to celebrate.
The whole idea struck a chord as an alternative to the more saccharine side of mandated togetherness, and a relief from the hassles, pressures, and commercialism of the holiday season. Festivus is refreshingly free of any expectations, and a reminder not to get so focused on what we think the holiday should be that we forget to enjoy what it is.
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